Lau Name Meaning

German: nickname for a physically strong person, from Middle High German louwe, lauwe ‘lion’. In some cases the surname may have been originally from a house sign. North German: topographic name for someone living in a bush-covered area or clearing, Middle Low German lo, loch, lage. North German and Dutch: from a vernacular short form of the personal name Laurentius (see Lawrence). Dutch: nickname from Middle Dutch laeu ‘lazy’, ‘indifferent’, ‘faint-hearted’. Chinese : Cantonese form of Liu 1. Chinese : Cantonese form of Liu 3. Chinese : variant of Lao 2.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Similar surnames: Bau, Kau, Mau, Lao, Lam, Leu, Hau, Rau, Dau, Liu

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Lau Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Lau name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Lau. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • China


  • England & Wales


  • Germanic Europe


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Eastern Europe & Russia


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Lau Family Origin

Where is the Lau family from?

Lau Family Occupations

What did your Lau ancestors do for a living?

In 1880, the most common Lau occupation in the USA was Farmer. 38% of Lau's were Farmers. A less common occupation for the Lau family was Keeping House. Farmer, Laborer and Carpenter were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Lau.

View Census data for Lau | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Laborer

  • Carpenter

  • Keeping House


United States shown, Canada data unavailable

Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Lau ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Lau Historical Records

What Lau family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 26,000 census records available for the last name Lau. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Lau census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1881 Canadian census records for Lau

Passenger List

There are 40,000 immigration records available for the last name Lau. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Canada, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

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Draft Card

There are 15,000 military records available for the last name Lau. For the veterans among your Lau ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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You've only scratched the surface of Lau family history.

Lau Life Expectancy

What is the average Lau lifespan?

Between 1942 and 2004, in the United States, Lau life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1950, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Lau in 1942 was 38, and 78 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Lau

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Lau ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Lau Family Ancestors

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